Over 20 Myanmar illegal migrant workers injured in chase-and-run truck crash

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More than 20 Myanmar illegal migrant workers and a Thai soldier were injured after a chase-and-run ended with two vehicles plunging into a stream in Muang district in Kanchanaburi province late Thursday night.

Among the illegal migrants injured is a two-year-old child.

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All the injured were admitted to Somdej Phra Sangharaja 19 hospital in Tha Muang district.

The incident happened at about 9 pm in Village Group 8 of Tambon Pakprek, Muang district of Kanchanaburi.

A combined team of rescuers in 30 vehicles rushed to the scene and found the military Humvee truck falling on the pickup truck in the 3-metre deep stream with the illegal migrants sitting on the road with injuries, awaiting for authorities to take them to hospitals.

But nobody was killed in the incident.

The military belonged to the Surasee Field Force based in Kanchanaburi, while the Nissan pickup truck bearing the Phang Nga province licence plate.

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The truck driver identified as Total Chamroonchotkabjit, 37, a resident of Thongphaphum district of Kanchanaburi, was seriously injured.

Col Suthipong Puetmongkol, deputy chief-of-staff of the Ninth Infantry Division who was at the scene to direct the rescue operation, said the truck driver took the Myanmar illegal migrant workers from a border point at Ban Bongtee village in Saiyok district.

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But as the driver saw soldiers on the border road and was signalled to stop for search, he immediately speeded his vehicle and smashed through the checkpoint in bid to escape.

The soldiers then gave chase on a Humvee car, he said.

They also radioed security officials at other locations to help stop the pickup truck.

But as both vehicles in hot pursuit reached a remote Y-junction, they ploughed into the stream together, he said.

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He said as the place was dark and both drivers might not aware of the remote Y-junction, they drove and fell into the water.

According to police, the driver had been arrested several times for the same charge. The latest arrest was on May 5 last year.